Expungement of Criminal Records - State: Texas (TX)
Expungement and Orders of Non-Disclosure
Even if you were innocent and acquitted or the charges were dismissed, you may still have a "criminal record" that will affect your family, your employment and other important aspects of your future. If you entered a guilty plea, but received deferred adjudication, there is a special law that lets some cases be "sealed," that is, removed from the public record.
If your record is expunged, or ordered "not disclosed," Texas law allows you to answer "no" when asked questions on loan or job applications, or in court, if asked: "Have you ever been charged with or convicted of a crime?"
The courts in Texas allow for expungement of arrest and conviction records in certain circumstances. If granted, then any record pertaining to your arrest or subsequent trial will be sealed. This will include any fingerprints, mug shots, DNA collection, trial transcripts or other arrest records. It will be like the crime never happened. This will allow you to answer that application question with a qualified "No" and you would be telling the truth in the eyes of the court.
Requirements for Expungement:
In Texas, if you were arrested for a felony or misdemeanor crime which you were later found not guilty of you can be granted an expungement. You will have to wait at least 30 days after the acquittal before you can apply for the expungement. If you were convicted, but later pardoned by the Governor you can also be given an expungement.
With the conviction of criminal offenses there will be more scrutiny from the courts when it comes to granting an expungement. Most misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement in Texas provided you have not committed any other crimes in the period between your arrest and filing of the petition. For felony charges, the changes of getting an expungement in Texas are very slim. There are certain exceptions depending on the severity of the crime.
The same issued with felony convictions apply to DUI convictions. Unless it was a misdemeanor charge, you probably won't be able to have your records expunged if it was a DUI.